Wave Accounting Review

Published by Alex on

There are many accounting and bookkeeping solutions available for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Wave Accounting is one of the most well-known names in the business, but how does it really compare to other solutions? Our review of Wave online accounting is here to answer that question – and more.

What is Wave Accounting?

The Wave Accounting system is a completely free double-entry accounting solution for freelancers and small businesses. As the software operates on the cloud, you can access your Wave Accounting login from anywhere in the world with any device. You can also add unlimited collaborators to your account to include the whole team, letting everyone manage everything through a single Wave Accounting login.

Overview of Wave Accounting Features

The Wave Accounting system may be free, but you’d be amazed at what it offers. Here’s a rundown of some of the key features;

  1. Wave Dashboard

The Wave dashboard includes charts and graphs for a quick insight into your business or personal performance. This includes access to invoices and bills, bank accounts, cash flow, credit cards, profit and loss statements, net income, and more. The expenses breakdown is a standout feature here, as it lets you see where your money goes.

  1. Wave Invoicing

Wave online accounting only offers three invoice templates, but these templates are all attractive and modern and can be customized. Wave makes it easier to create and send invoices and have control over the whole cycle by letting you create reminders, record payments, and issue receipts. You can also set up recurring invoices with Wave, letting customers receive invoices promptly. The invoice dashboard offers an overview of all these invoicing features. The downside is that you need to add sales tax and discounts manually.

  1. Estimates

Wave accounting lets you create estimates and turn them into invoices.

  1. Client Portal

The client portal with Wave online accounting is fairly basic, only for use with invoices. Customers and clients can view and pay invoices online through the portal.

  1. Contact Management

You’ll have the option to add contacts and vendors to your Wave account.

  1. Expense Tracking

You’ll have to connect your bank account to track expenses with your Wave Accounting login. You can also add expenses manually, but importing straight from your bank is faster. You’ll appreciate that speed given the lack of automation with Wave, meaning you have to manually sort and organize expenses after they’re imported.

  1. Bank Reconciliation

The bank reconciliation feature makes it easier to balance your books.

  1. Accounts Payable

Effectively track and record bills and payments.

  1. Reporting

Wave lets you create 12 reports, including cash flow reports and customer statements. You can customize those reports and compare them to previous records.

  1. Checkouts

The checkouts feature is one of the most recent and exciting features mentioned by Wave Accounting reviews. Rather than generating invoices, you can instead generate a checkout link to send to customers. Wave remembers previous checkouts, making it easier to send them to people who need them.

Wave Accounting Pros and Cons


  1. Completely free

One of the key advantages of Wave Accounting is that the system is completely free. Wave online accounting is one of the only truly free accounting software options available.

With everything that Wave offers you for free, there’s no doubt the lack of cost is a key benefit of this accounting system.

  1. Customizable Add-Ons

Another benefit of using Wave is that the system has customizable add-ons. You can continue using it for free, or you can invest in certain paid features.

The paid add-on features are completely pay-as-you-go, meaning that how much you’re charged depends on how much you use those features.

  1. User-Friendly

Not only does Wave offer an affordable and customizable accounting system, but there’s no doubt it’s also user-friendly. This usability is essential for people who have to manage everything related to their business, especially given how often you’ll be using it.

Wave Accounting is designed with freelancers and entrepreneurs in mind, designed to be simple and intuitive. There’s also plenty of support options if you need them.


  1. Limited Tax Capabilities

One of the key downsides of using Wave Accounting is that it isn’t much help when it comes to business taxes.

Other accounting software programs include the option to organize business expenses and file your taxes. Some are even capable of optimizing your tax filing to get maximum return from your taxes.

  1. Not Suited for Large Teams

Another downside is that you have to pay to use the payroll features. While these costs aren’t an issue for small teams, the costs quickly add up for large teams.

Add on that Wave Payroll is only available in seven states, and you’ve got serious problems managing payroll with Wave Accounting.

  1. Missing Advanced Features

The third and final drawback of using Wave is that it doesn’t have some of the advanced features you’d see in other programs. While the Wave accounting system does have some impressive functionality, particularly for free software, there are some advanced tools, such as budgeting and inventory tracking, that should be included but aren’t.

Wave Plans and Products

While the basic Wave Accounting membership is free, there are paid options including Wave Payroll and Wave Payments/Wave Invoicing.

  1. Wave Invoicing

You can send free unlimited invoices to clients, or pay extra to have the option for fully customized invoices. These invoices let you add your branding to the invoice to create a unique template for your business.

Wave Invoicing includes access to a fully functional app that lets you send and receive invoices over your phone and get push notifications whenever invoices are viewed and paid.

  1. Payments by Wave

Payments by Wave allows customers to pay you directly from Wave invoices. These payments automatically sync with the accounting software. Wave includes fairly standard fees of 2.9% + $0.30 per credit card transaction and 1% for bank transactions. The good thing is that there are no monthly fees for this service, unlike other accounting software that includes payments as a paid part of bundled services.

User Reviews on Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting reviews are generally positive. Reviewers point out how easy it is to use to manage clients and invoices.

Users also praise that the app is free on all platforms and offers plenty of functionality for a free service. Getting email invoices and receipts is another benefit pointed out by users.

On the downside, users say that they wish it had more storage, but understand this is an expense that doesn’t come with a free account. The lack of tax options is another drawback mentioned in Wave Accounting reviews.

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve come to the end of our review, there’s just one question left to answer “Is Wave Accounting right for you?”

The only person who can really answer that question is you. Wave Accounting is a great bookkeeping solution for small businesses and freelancers who don’t have the budget – or need – for accounting software.

The platform isn’t suitable for large businesses and businesses with a lot of employees. At the very least, Wave is a good place to start and learn the ropes of bookkeeping before moving on to a bigger and better system.

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